My Most Popular and Applauded Stories

And my theory about what made them so

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To try and make my writing on Medium as rewarding — both financially and emotionally — as possible, I took a look at my stats. What articles were getting the biggest responses?

First, my three stories with the most ‘Reads’:

While these stories were widely read, the overwhelming number of readers were external to Medium. Therefore the above stories were not big earners. If you are interested in my best Medium earners, jump ahead to the next section (three stories with the most ‘Fans’).

People are generally finding these widely-read articles through Google, and a high percentage of people who view the article actually read it. It took me a little while to figure out what terms the third article was ranking for. I don’t know for sure, but I believe it was a combination along the lines of ‘overnight success story baby boomer.’

None of these widely-read articles was curated, and only was published in a publication ().

Lesson: If your goal is to have your article widely read, use words people search for in your title. — was written because six months earlier I had been searching for info on ‘older dog, new puppy, jealous, depressed’. Having lived through that experience, I wanted to help others going through it.

And my three stories with the most ‘Fans’ (folks clapping for them):

All three of these articles were curated, so they were more widely distributed to Medium readers and therefore, potential Fans. was published in the very popular and the and were published in .

While Medium no longer pays based on the number of claps an article receives, a much-applauded article is likely to earn well because it represents a significant number of Medium members reading your article. These articles are among my top-earners.

Final Take-Aways

It’s difficult to take satisfaction from the articles that are widely read but almost exclusively by readers who are external to Medium. Those articles receive few claps or comments. Medium has only paid me a few pennies for them. Yet, I did reach people. Isn’t that why I started out writing?

Because I like the satisfaction of interacting with readers and a larger Medium payout, I’ll continue to target medium to larger-sized publications.

Now, I’ve probably spent more than enough time looking at my stats tonight. Time to get back to writing. In addition to articles above, you might also enjoy:

Programmer by day. Author by night. As I put on running tights, I imagine I’m a superhero. Creator of . More on me:

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